13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman announces she's got engaged

Emily Brown

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13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman announces she's got engaged

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13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman has announced she's engaged after splitting up with her husband earlier this year.

The actor, who played Ryan Shaver in the popular Netflix series, reintroduced herself as a trans woman in July 2021 during her marriage to Peter Zurkuhelen.

Zurkuhelen filed for divorce in February, and Dorfman recently discussed her sexuality during an appearance on Rachel Bilson’s podcast Broad Ideas.

The 30-year-old actor said she'd realised that she was interested in women ‘in a way that [she] hadn’t been aware of since high school’, and so ‘had this unresolved, unexplored thing’.

However, she said she had been 'scared' about admitting her attraction to women out of fear she would be depicted as 'threatening', saying: "Because [the women in my life] thought of me as a gay man, they were like, “Oh, like you’re the safest person in the world.” And then suddenly, I transition and I become a little bit more threatening, in my head."

In spite of the fear, Dorfman made the decision to go on some dates with girls and 'not feel ashamed about it'. She found the people she was 'most worried about' ended up caring 'the least' about her sexuality.

Dorfman is now engaged to a woman, saying: "I’ve met the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with."

She declined to name her fiancée, but described her new relationship as 'safe'.

She continued: "Also not safe and like being in love is so scary. So uncomfortable, so painful. All the universal feelings of being in love that are probably the same."

Dorfman's fiancée is the first woman she's been with 'in a very long time', and helped her administer oestrogen shots as part of her transition.

The actor's interview revealed that she would have 'transitioned a lot sooner' if she hadn't been cast in 13 Reasons Why, which was Dorfman's first real job.

She claimed her 'growth' and 'maturation' had been delayed by her work, saying in the early years of her career she was 'just trying to understand' herself.

Dorfman said she would have transitioned sooner if she hadn't been cast in 13 Reasons Why. Credit: Netflix
Dorfman said she would have transitioned sooner if she hadn't been cast in 13 Reasons Why. Credit: Netflix

“I think if I hadn’t booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner,” the actor reflected. “I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identify, or whatever [a character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my twenties.”

Dorfman admitted to making decisions that were 'just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted', saying she made them instead 'out of fear'.

13 Reasons Why ran from 2017 to 2020.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

Topics: Celebrity, Netflix, LGBTQ, Entertainment

Emily Brown
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